Lt. Gov. Cox has a little fun while governor is under anesthesia

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox

Lt. Gov. Cox has a little fun while

governor is under anesthesia


By Lyle Fletcher

Staff writer

Feb. 1, 2018


SALT LAKE CITY—When a person is serving as acting governor, who knows what to expect, especially if the acting governor is from Sanpete County?!

It seems “acting” is the appropriate word in this case, for when Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox stepped into the governor’s seat for a short while on Friday, Jan. 26, Cox did anything but govern.

Perhaps Cox, a Fairview native, took a cue from Jeep Posse Days or North Bend Entertainers.

Perhaps not.

Yet he enjoyed his brief window of opportunity as acting governor by “acting” his part on social media.

As part of his “acting up,” he tweeted a copy of an official declaration that appealed to Wyoming to give to Utah the missing northeast corner of the state so Utah can be one of the few rectangle-shaped states.

On the governor’s letterhead, with the governor’s name of Gary Richard Herbert dutifully crossed out with black marker and the name of Spencer J. Cox written in above it, Cox cited the Utah Constitution as giving him the authority to assume the governor’s duties at 5:24 p.m. last Friday while the governor had surgery.

In the same official-looking document, Cox asserted that in 1868 “Congress probably wrongfully appropriated the northeast corner” of what is now Utah.

Included in the string of almost-humorous “whereas” statements is this one: “Whereas, Utah’s decision to legalize fireworks within the state has effectively rendered pointless all travel to Wyoming as a final destination.”

The last “whereas” statement sums up the whole: “Whereas, I mean, come on, it’s just one little corner.”

His official declaration as acting governor ended with: “Now, therefore, I, Spencer J. Cox, … do hereby petition the State of Wyoming to surrender to the State of Utah our Missing Corner.”

Note the deliberate use of “our” in “our Missing Corner,” showing positively and unmistakably that Utah has the right to this geographical corner simply because the acting governor says it’s Utah’s.

And no mention was made in Cox’s declaration that if Wyoming surrendered the coveted corner that Wyoming would no longer be a rectangular state.

Now that would be a sorry state (pun intended), looking like the former shape of Utah but reversed and flopped onto its western side.

Before the antics began, Cox had tweeted that he was going to be the acting governor for an hour, “and we are going [to] have a little fun. If you don’t have a sense of humor, please press the mute button.”

Fox News ran a story on the lieutenant governor’s joy-ride as acting governor and said, “In another satirical declaration, Cox made his hometown of Fairview the Honorary Capital of the State of Utah for approximately 1 hour.”

Cox also tweeted: “But seriously, thanks for having fun with me. I love this state and am the luckiest man in the world. Please remember @GovHerbert in your prayers tonight. And let’s be a little kinder to each other.”

The string of tweets ended with: “Great news! The operation was a success and @GovHerbert is awake and coherent. The peaceful transfer of power has occurred. All is right with the world. #1hourGov.”